Entries by warren king

Sam Wanamaker – A Shakespearean Hero

In London Shakespeare circles there is a name almost as famous as that of William Shakespeare. It is that of Sam Wanamaker, an American actor whose vision almost matched Shakespeare’s. A new acting space has just opened in the Shakespeare Globe complex and has been named ‘The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.’ Near to the Globe on […]

“What Is Love?” Shakespeare’s Take On Love: Sonnet 116

What is love? Philosophers down the centuries and millennia have frequently asked the question.  There are plenty of examples of great quotes on love from Shakespeare’s works, but his definitive response to the ‘what is love’ question is as deep and profound as any philosopher’s could be, expressed in the most beautiful language. Sonnet 116 is a full […]

Shakespeare’s Christmas Play: Twelfth Night

This post discusses Elizabethan play naming conventions…and Shakespeare’s Christmas play, Twelfth Night. The Elizabethan and Jacobean playwrights, in heavy competition with each other, and pressurized by the need to fill the theatres, wrote fast so that new plays would be coming off the assembly line in quick succession. As people walked past the theatres they encountered posters with […]

Why Is The ‘To Be Or Not To Be’ Speech So Memorable?

If you were asked to quote something from Shakespeare – just a short line or phrase – what would you quote? As you’re reading this article on a Shakespeare website you obviously have an interest in Shakespeare,  so might give any quote: your favorite line, perhaps, something beautiful evoking a mental picture or a smell, something […]

Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre: Remains Found

Romeo and Juliet and Henry V were first performed in the late 16th century at Shakespeare’s ‘The Curtain’ theatre, an Elizabethan theatre in Shoreditch. After disappearing from historical records in 1622 archaeologists discovered the remains of the Curtain theatre behind a pub in Shoreditch in 2012! There are now plans afoot to restore it to it’s […]

Thomas Bowdler: Bowdlerizing Shakespeare

Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825) was an old school English Victorian gent, physician and philanthropist, but forever remembered for censoring Shakespeare and in doing so creating the epoymous verb bowdlerize (or bowdlerise). So what does ‘bowdlerize‘ mean…? bowd·ler·ized bowd·ler·iz·ing 1:  to expurgate (as a book) by omitting or modifying parts considered vulgar 2:  to modify by abridging, simplifying, or distorting in […]

When Was Shakespeare Born?

Although nobody knows 100% for certain, Shakespeare is assumed to have been born on 23rd April, 1564. This is because his name appears in the baptismal register of the Holy Trinity parish church, in Stratford-upon-Avon on 26th April 1564, and at that time it was customary to baptise a child three days after its birth. This image […]

Where Was Shakespeare Born?

Shakespeare was born and brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. We know where Shakespeare was born because the baptismal register of the Holy Trinity parish church, in Stratford-upon-Avon, shows the following entry for 26th April 1564: “Gulielmus filius Johannes Shakespeare” (William, son of John Shakespeare). Here is a picture showing a layout of how Stratford-upon-avon would […]

Why Did Shakespeare Set So Many Of His Plays Abroad?

We recently mapped the locations of all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays. The most interesting thing about looking at the map is just how broadly Shakespeare cast his creative web across different cultures and languages inthe search for suitable material for his dramas. In fact over three quarters of Shakespeare’s plays are set outside of the UK, with […]

“Still Dreaming” New Shakespeare Film Seeks Crowdfunding

The husband and wife film-making team behind Sundance hit Shakespeare Behind Bars are working on a new Shakespeare documentary, and seeking funding. Still Dreaming is a documentary about a group of retired Broadway entertainers who emerge from retirement to reawaken their spirits and their dreams by staging  A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This post is a quick share to […]

Where Did Shakespeare Live In London?

This post deals with the places in London that Shakespeare lived, and at the bottom of a page is an interactive map of London showing places we know Shakespeare lived. (Read our related blog pieces on top things to do in London in Shakespeare’s time, and entertainment at the Globe Theatre, London.) Whilst Stratford-upon-Avon is the one-industry Shakespeare town, […]

Shakespeare…A Woman?

Mary Meriam writes in her blog in the women’s magazine, Ms Magazine “I find it extremely inspiring to think of a woman as the true author of Shakespeare, turning patriarchal literary history on its head and forever, completely and entirely, justifying the value of women writers.” She is referring to Robin P Williams’ book ‘Sweet Swan […]